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Contra Costa Taxpayers Association

Pacific Legal Successfully defended another Challenge to Prop 13

25 Jul 2012 8:53 AM | Deleted user

From: Harold Johnson, attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation     www.pacificlegal.org   (916) 419-7111

To: Taxpayer organizations that joined with PLF in defending Proposition 13

Re:  WE WON TODAY AT THE SECOND DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL  --- see today’s court ruling attached to this email.

Dear friends,

Today, we all can celebrate a great victory in our joint battle to defend Prop. 13.Today – July 24 – we all can celebrate a great victory for our joint effort to defend Prop. 13.   

The California Second District Court of Appeal unanimously rejected the challenge to Prop. 13’s “supermajority” rule for new state taxes --- i.e. the rule that the Legislature can’t raise taxes without a two-thirds vote in both chambers.   This provision, of course, was added to the California Constitution by voters when they enacted Proposition 13 in 1978.    As you know, the lawsuit was filed by former UCLA Chancellor Charles Young, arguing that the two-thirds vote rule amounted to a “revision” that fundamentally changed the Constitution, not a mere amendment.   As the Second District notes in its decision (attached to this email), the California Supreme Court already upheld the entirely of Prop 13, in its Amador Valley ruling 34 years ago, against this same argument, i.e., that Prop 13 impermissibly “revised” the Constitution.  

On behalf of your taxpayer organizations, PLF submitted an amicus brief in opposition to Young’s arguments.   We pointed out that not only was Young’s lawsuit redundant and foreclosed in light of the 1978 Amador Valley ruling, but Young’s underlying argument was invalid in any case.   In fact, it is Young’s lawsuit that would impermissibly “revise” the Constitution.   Young sought to drastically shrink voters’ powers of initiative, particularly their clear, constitutionally recognized power to use the initiative process to protect themselves from higher taxes.     So, with this decision rejecting Young’s lawsuit, the Second District Court of Appeal upheld solid legal precedent, the integrity of the initiative process, and the electorate’s right to pull rank on the Legislature when it comes to important issues of taxation.  All in all, a good day’s work for this court.   

Thank you again for joining us in this important – and successful – effort to defend Prop. 13!

All the best,


Harold Johnson


Pacific Legal Foundation

930 G Street

Sacramento, CA   95814


(916) 419-7111

fax (916) 419-7747

cell: (916) 267-3281

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